Giuseppi's family and age
As discussed on the Name page, there's little doubt about Giuseppi's heritage. Someone in his family must have immigrated from Southern SimItaly to Northeastern SimUSA -- it must have been at least someone on his father's side of the family, considering his last name. Possibly his mom's side of the family too, but we don't know for sure. We're also not sure quite how far back the original immigrants were, but probably not too far back considering how much Giuseppi is still clearly entrenched in Southern Italian culture.
The only canonical details we have about his parents is that Giuseppi's poppa made homemade strawberry tiramisù, and Giuseppi's momma made homemade sauerkraut.
Sorry girl, but your breath smells worse than my mom's homemade sauerkraut.
Note that, in the crafting of this very Italian-American character, Maxis and Griptonite opted to have Giuseppi mention sauerkraut, and not like, pasta or something stereotypical and obvious. Was there a particular reasoning behind this choice?
While talking with Giuseppi, Denise felt a strange sort of familiarity and kinship. On her mom's side of the family, Denise's great-grandfather and her great-grandmother both separately immigrated from Italy to Pennsylvania. Denise's grandmother was the youngest child of a very large family. They lived in Pennsylvania Dutch country, which, despite the misnomer ✽, is the culture of German immigrants in this particular part of the US. Denise's grandfather is Pennsylvania Dutch. Denise's grandfather and grandmother got married and moved to New Jersey to raise their family.
Given Denise's bias here, she thinks of Giuseppi's family being like the inverse of her grandparents: that his father is Italian, and his mother of German descent, and that Giuseppi was raised with Italian-American and German-American roots, plus the influence of a healthy mix of other cultures present in the New York - Pennsylvania - New Jersey area. Whether it came from his mother's culture, or was simply absorbed from the culture of the surrounding area, this sort of scenario would explain the presence of both homemade tiramisù and homemade sauerkraut on his family's menu.
We also know that Giuseppi grew up with four brothers (no clear indication if he has more brothers that left home before then, or if he also has sisters). While Giuseppi seems to speak positively of his momma and poppa, his only mention of his brothers is that they could be mean. It sounds like maybe Giuseppi was the youngest and subjected to relentless teasing and pranks from his older brothers, or maybe their relationship was even worse than that. It sounds like he needed to spend a substantial amount of time amusing himself; he played with a paddle ball enough that his childhood record was four hours straight without dropping the ball.
Given the large family and their Southern Italian roots, we suspect that Giuseppi's household was at least nominally Roman Catholic. Giuseppi himself claims to believe in a higher power, but his beliefs seem somewhat undefined, and more based on what he wishes were true, rather than a more traditional sort of faith.
We get the sense that his family was not very well-off but not too uncomfortable. Despite whatever financial hardships they might have faced, value was clearly given to good food, creativity, and education -- we suspect that his parents squeezed a lot out of what they had in order to prioritize these things for a family of at least five children. Cooking from scratch, even to the point of making homemade sauerkraut, is expending energy in order to both save money and to make something that will be extra tasty. It is also notable that Giuseppi was able to be in a band in high school (we don't know what he played, but instruments are expensive!), and that he also had the possibility of going to University, even if he ultimately opted not to go. ✽
But Giuseppi learned to respect the value of things. Clearly, his childhood super soaker was a prized possession, probably his most expensive toy, and he kept it many years and on his person into adulthood.
By the way, how old is Giuseppi in these games? Based on what he looks like in Bustin' Out, we originally guessed Giuseppi would be aged 16 to 20. The game dialogue itself addresses that he looks somewhat young, as evidenced by one of the player character's possible flirtatious lines asking him whether he's old enough for an R-rated kiss.
When we played The Urbz, we were surprised to see Giuseppi now looking so much older. His sudden aging in just one year is probably due to having spent most of the last year in prison. Still, his appearance now makes it hard to believe that he's just 21, even with the impact of stress and malnourishment. So, we recalibrated our guess to thinking that he looks younger than he is in Bustin' Out, and older than he is in The Urbz. That puts us more at the range of 25-40.
There are a few things to ground him to this range:
- We don't know how long he owned the van and how long has his career as a thief been, but it seems pretty established by the plot. If he got his license at 16, this would make him at least 20 in Bustin' Out - and probably older.
- Giuseppi often refers to the player character of Bustin' Out as "kid". The player character likewise has dialogue referring to Giuseppi as the older brother they wish they had. We also don't really know the age of the player character, but we presume they are thought of as being a teenager - which also supports the idea of Giuseppi being older than that.
- In Bustin' Out, Giuseppi introduces himself as a "business man and family guy". Even though he's being tongue-in-cheek, he wouldn't be able to jokingly refer to himself as a family guy if he weren't old enough to suit the part. This makes us think that he must be at least 25.
- In The Urbz, Giuseppi mentions having been in a band in high school... which, of course, means he's no longer in high school. He also mentions that, in the past, he had decided against going to university, which means that he did graduate high school, and that he's way past the usual age of going to university too.
- In The Urbz, he also mentions not having been to a doctor in ten years. He's clearly not done so by himself, not because of his family. If he left home at 17-18 after finishing high school, this means that he's at least 27. That would be if the last time he went to a doctor was during his last year of high school, and if he's not rounding up or down.
Since he looked so young in Bustin' Out, our personal guess is that, in The Urbz, Giuseppi is between 27 and 30.
Based on this timeline, it looks like Giuseppi had a fairly regular life until a certain point. He was doing well enough to be able to be in a band in high school, and he was even thinking of university. Something must have happened at some point after he was 17 that sent him on this path of crime.
We can infer that his dad is dead, due to the verb tense Giuseppi uses when referring to him. Was the critical turning point in Giuseppi's life the death of his father? It sounds like Giuseppi had a very positive relationship with his father, and his death must have been very emotionally challenging. Another aspect of this is, maybe his dad was the primary breadwinner, and with him suddenly gone, the family had to struggle even more to make due. Maybe that's how Giuseppi set out on his own and started stealing, eventually making it into a kind of business, and moving from town to town. Perhaps Giuseppi is always on the move, to keep running from his problems that he doesn't want to think about.
- There was some confusion regarding the word Deutsch.
- In other Sims games, tuition is free, but we're not sure if that is true where and when Giuseppi was considering the possibility of college.